John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO


The John Lothian Daily Update is a podcast turning the daily JLN hits and takes comments, our original content and the stories and quips in the top box of First Read into a daily podcast.

Hits & Takes

JLN Staff

Bubbles. Pump and dumps. Good guys. Bad guys. Good guys being bad. Bad guys trying to do good. Lots of people making money. Some people making lots of money. Lots of people losing money. Some people losing lots of money. Regulators alarmed. Politicians alarmed. Strange bedfellows agreeing. Clearing firms calling for more capital. Problems because of T+2. Strange comments from everywhere. Trying to blame the other guy. Jon Stewart joining Twitter just to comment. All this and more in today’s newsletter.

I interviewed Tom Price of The Price Group yesterday. I learned that he studied pre-med and finance and was accepted to medical school but decided to pursue finance instead. I heard the story about the president of the CME offering him 10 memberships at a good price that he turned down because he was concerned about the annual fees. He said it was the worst trade he never made. I also learned the CME was trying to sell the memberships because they had an agreement to buy the memberships back from members who went off to serve in the Vietnam War, and those were some of the memberships they were offering Tom. Lots of industry history in this interview. Stay tuned. Thank you to Tom and his wife Nancy for this hospitality yesterday.

Just after I left Greenville, SC yesterday I received a call from my swag vendor, the one who provides us with the nice drawstring bags for the MarketsWiki Education events. He is located in Greenville, SC, which I had forgotten. I am going to write a story about him and his business, as there are some interesting things going on in the swag business in light of the pandemic and lack of in person events.

I stopped in Louisville, KY today on my way back to Chicago. The Louisville Slugger Museum is on the schedule before we leave.

There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Support industry history by donating to our GoFundMe campaign.

Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL


While it’s still very early in 2021, index provider FTSE Russell said Thursday that a comparison of its Asia and emerging market indexes shows that those that include ESG criteria are beginning to outperform their parent indexes year to date (as of January 25). The FTSE Emerging Asia-ESG Index, for example, has returned nearly 13 percent, versus 11.3 percent for its parent non-ESG index. To see a chart that illustrates recent performance, click here. FTSE Russell partnered with the Singapore Exchange Limited for SGX’s launch on Monday of index futures based on FTSE Russell ESG benchmarks. ~SC

The SEC released a statement today from Acting Chair Lee and Commissioners Peirce, Roisman, and Crenshaw about the “recent market volatility,” which begins: “The Commission is closely monitoring and evaluating the extreme price volatility of certain stocks’ trading prices over the past several days. Our core market infrastructure has proven resilient under the weight of this week’s extraordinary trading volumes. Nevertheless, extreme stock price volatility has the potential to expose investors to rapid and severe losses and undermine market confidence.”~SR

Jon Stewart, former host of “The Daily Show,” joined Twitter (for the first time) yesterday to weigh in on the GameStop/Reddit story. He said, in part, “The Redditors aren’t cheating, they’re joining a party Wall Street insiders have been enjoying for years.”~JB

First Read

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Asia’s Most Successful Electricity Futures at Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM)/Japan Exchange Group (JPX) celebrated its first year of listing in a co-hosted webinar with Quick Corp. on December 15, 2020. The event was attended by over 250 people from 152 companies.

At the workshop, Mr. Hatakeyama, Director-General for Commerce and Service Industry Policy of METI gave an opening remarks and Mr. Ishibashi of Astmax Trading, Inc. gave a keynote speech on Electricity trading and Risk management. In the panel discussion, traders from different power companies shared their experiences in using TOCOM Electricity Futures and their internal risk control systems. They pointed out that there is still a huge opportunity in Electricity Futures market in Japan and requested the exchange to list new products such as those covering the Hokkaido and Kyushu areas and change the product design to extend contract months.

For more details, please refer to the following link


LSEG completes $27 billion Refinitiv acquisition; After confirming earlier this month the deal would complete on 29 January, LSEG has completed its blockbuster acquisition of Refinitiv.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has completed its transformational acquisition of data and analytics giant Refinitiv for $27 billion. LSEG has been working towards closing the deal for almost a year and a half, after confirming plans to acquire Refinitiv in August 2019.

*****No GameStop for LSEG. It is now GAME ON!~JJL


Robinhood and Reddit top the App Store following GameStop mania
Jordan Bevan – Mobile Marketing Reads
Stock trading & investing app Robinhood and social networking platform Reddit rise to the top on the App Store charts following the GameStop mania and Google deletes 100,000 negative Robinhood reviews.

*****No surprise here.~JJL


San Antonio 10-year-old cashes in on GameStop stocks he was gifted 2 years ago
Madalyn Mendoza – Houston Chronicle
When Jaydyn Carr unwrapped his GameStop shares his mom gifted him for Kwanzaa two years ago, neither mother nor son expected he’d eventually be in the middle of a stock surge.
Stock talks this week are centering on small investors, but Jaydyn might be the smallest and youngest, at least in San Antonio. He became a GameStock shareholder on Dec. 30, 2019, when he was eight, long before Reddit users combined and skyrocketed the prices of the struggling gaming company’s shares from single to triple digits, blindsiding Wall Street. The now 10-year-old fifth grader is reeling from the excitement of selling his first set of stocks amid the GameStop trading frenzy.

***** My father always said it was better to be lucky than smart.~JJL


NYC protesters slam Robinhood, scream at Wall Street traders amid GameStop stock chaos
Elizabeth Rosner and Tamar Lapin – NY Post
A few dozen people gathered at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday to protest investing app Robinhood and badger Wall Street traders amid the ongoing GameStop stock chaos. Several of the protesters were spotted tailing people leaving the building, yelling “Shame!” and “Eat the rich.”

*****If you eat the rich, I suggest Grey Poupon.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Thursday was another all GameStop, all the time day. Our top story was The New York Times’ ‘Dumb Money’ Is on GameStop, and It’s Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game. Second was Bloomberg’s Reddit Crowd Bludgeons Melvin Capital in Warning to Industry. Third was the Wall Street Journal’s WallStreetBets Founder Reckons With Legacy Amid Stock-Market Frenzy, about Jaime Rogozinski.


CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: Dogecoin (DOGE)
GameStop stock wasn’t the only asset driven up in value this week by the coordinated efforts of retail investors. Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency created as a joke, surged this week as users on the Reddit thread “SatoshiStreetBets” enthusiastically agreed to buy the cryptocurrency to drive its price up. It jumped over 500 percent since Wednesday, boosted when Elon Musk tweeted about it. This pushed DOGE into the top 10 biggest cryptocurrencies in the world by market cap. Users on Reddit joked that Dogecoin is “the first dog on the moon.”


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